Exercise and Food Compensation: Exploring Diet-Related Beliefs and Behaviors of Regular Exercisers

Dohle, S., B. Wansink, and L. Zehnder. "Exercise and food compensation: exploring diet-related beliefs and behaviors of regular exercisers." Journal of physical activity & health 12.3 (2015): 322-327.

23 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2015 Last revised: 20 Oct 2015

Date Written: January 28, 2015

Abstract

Background: The goal of this qualitative study is to identify common beliefs and behaviors related to exercise and diet.

Methods: Data were collected in focus group discussions with regular exercisers who were physically active between 1 and 5 h per week. Exercise objectives, beliefs and behaviors regarding food intake before, during, and after exercise, consumption of sport supplements, and dietary patterns on sedentary days were explored. All focus groups were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Results: Participants reported that they reward themselves for being active by consuming food. Other exercisers had specific beliefs about dietary needs and how to compensate for exercise-induced losses along with exercise-related food likes and dislikes. The participants’ food intake also depended on their personal exercise objectives, such as the goal of performing well in competitions. External and physiological factors also played a role in determining participants’ dietary patterns.

Conclusions: Results of this study show that exercising and dietary patterns are closely intertwined. In addition, we articulate new hypotheses and outline a research agenda that can help improve how regular exercisers eat.

Suggested Citation

Dohle, Simone and Wansink, Brian and Zehnder, Lorena, Exercise and Food Compensation: Exploring Diet-Related Beliefs and Behaviors of Regular Exercisers (January 28, 2015). Dohle, S., B. Wansink, and L. Zehnder. "Exercise and food compensation: exploring diet-related beliefs and behaviors of regular exercisers." Journal of physical activity & health 12.3 (2015): 322-327.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2557003

Simone Dohle

ETH Zürich ( email )

Universitatsstrasse 22
CHN H75.3
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

Brian Wansink (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Lorena Zehnder

ETH Zürich ( email )

Rämistrasse 101
ZUE F7
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

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